I stayed at Vista de Olas for four nights for a belated honeymoon recently. The first few nights were nice enough; if you want to feel like you are at a Southern California surf hotel whilst in Costa Rica, then this place will do the trick. The views are stunning, the location wonderful. My husband and I noticed early on, however, that during the mediocre BBQ dinners, Roger would drink heavily starting in the afternoon/evening, and would go on presumably until after we had vacated the pool area, usually around 8.
The last night of our stay, I knew that we would be leaving early the next morning and wanted to pay the bill for our meals and excursions (luckily I used Living Social, so I was not responsible at that point for paying for the stay itself). At around 8:00, I asked Roger's wife for our bill. About 20 minutes later, she came out with a surprisingly large tab. I made the horrible mistake of asking Roger to help me break down the costs, and at this point he got irate, dropping profanities every other word, and insisting that he had already given us a good deal by doing us the favor of redeeming our Living Social voucher. He implied that we were cheap and ungrateful to inquire about our bill charges. Roger seemed to be escalating severely on his own, without provocation from myself or my husband, and I tried to keep the situation calm by letting Roger yell and vent without interfering.
After my debit card declined (I had forgotten that I had already taken out a good portion of the day's allotment of cash from an ATM), I payed with cash, giving Roger 130,000 colones ($260). Because I didn't have smaller bills, I should have gotten about 4,000 colones in change. Roger said at this point he would go get change. He stayed away for about 20 minutes, and when he returned he told us he could not remember how much cash we had given him because he was, in more polite terms, too drunk, and thus did not know to how much change we were entitled. I reminded him what I had payed him, sort of laughing it off, but also getting concerned at this point that the night would get messy in regards to Roger dealing with this transaction. He repeated this three more times, saying each time that he couldn't remember how much cash we had given him. Finally, he threw the change at us, making a nasty comment about us not leaving a tip (for what? Having to BBQ our own meat and eat preserved veggies at the hotel RESTAURANT?).
Shaken up, my husband and I went back to our villa. A few minutes later, we heard a knock. I assumed it would be Roger or someone to apologize for Roger's behavior. How wrong I was. It was Roger, claiming that we had not payed him anything. At this point, having endured an hour of Roger's drunken escapades with patience, I could not believe what was happening. When Roger showed us his empty pockets and asked us where the money was, I shut the door in his face. I don't know if he was trying to extort more money from us, or if he was legitimately so drunk as to forget that we had already payed him. Either way, it was unbelievable and unacceptable.
At this point, Roger started yelling obscenities at me and a staff member, Randal, came down from the pool to see what was happening. He told Roger to go upstairs, which he did, whilst still yelling insults at me the whole way to the pool area. My husband and I then discussed our options; we felt that Roger had exhibited the kind of aggression, which appeared to be the result of excessive alcohol consumption, that could have escalated into him physically attacking us. The property is remote, and, not having a cell phone that worked, we actually considered walking the 25 minute steep downhill unlit trip to town because we felt so unsafe at Vista de Olas. In the end, we barricaded our door with luggage and furniture to at least make us feel that if Roger decided to enter our room for further confrontation, we would be able to hear it well enough in advance to flee out of the open-air bathroom.
Having traveled extensively, this is by far the worst situation in which I have found myself. I'm sure that a stay at this hotel could have, and has for most visitors, gone smoothly. The key is: DO NOT APPROACH THIS MAN FOR A BUSINESS TRANSACTION IF HE APPEARS AT ALL INTOXICATED. It would be slightly more acceptable for a business owner to do this if they were a sociable, happy drunk. Roger, however, is a mean and aggressive person when drunk. He is the exact opposite of the constructed image of a care-free, laid-back surfer that he tries to exude when he is sober.
Roger, if you want to reply to this, here's a hint: grammar and spelling are easier to tackle when sober. I've noticed you have had some problems with these base elements of sentence construction in past replies.
I would not wish this travel misadventure upon my worst enemy. This hotel is awful, despite its gorgeous physical setting. It is the overwhelming negativity, irresponsibility, and lack of professionalism of the owner that make this beautiful place, as another reviewer noted, a sad waste.
A final note: Roger charges 7% surcharge on all credit card transactions. As far as I know, this is not legal and seems to be a method of discouraging guests, for whatever reason, from paying with credit card. This man wants cash, and as inconvenient as it is, I'm glad I was able to give him what he wanted, rather than get suckered into paying an additional 7% for this nightmarish experience.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.